PLANNING a vacation in the Philippines, whether you are a local or a foreigner, would usually include top tourist spots like Boracay, Palawan, Bohol or Banaue in their itinerary or places-to-visit list.
But if you prefer locations where there’s no or little crowd, you can consider some of these off-the-beaten-track destinations, which are popular themselves, particularly among backpackers. What makes them also attractive is that they are secluded enough for throngs of tourists to reach.
With over 7,000 islands and more than 1,500 cities and municipalities in the country, it’s not easy to choose which places to put on the upper portion of your list. But the best way to start is the ones nearest to you.
Try to explore places within Bacolod City then move to nearby towns and cities and go farther to the northernmost or southernmost part of the province.
Here are some suggestions that you can consider. This list of places is a combination of those I’ve already been to and those that I’ve yet to see.
Cadiz, Sagay, Cauayan, Sipalay and Hinoba-an are great places to roll on the sand and enjoy the sea and the sun. Moreover, you can also do a bit of snorkelling in these parts of Negros Occidental.
If you are a mountain person, the upland portions of Don Salvador Benedicto, Murcia, Talisay, Silay, San Carlos, and La Castellana can offer you great views.
Negros Oriental also has plenty of wonderful places to have a getaway. You can include Valencia, Apo Island, Bais and Manjuyod in your list.
Huge waves, beautiful beaches, treks to the waterfalls and a sleepy town makes Baler a fantastic choice for a vacation. It’s a long ride getting there, but it’s all worth it if you want to be away from all the hustle and bustle of city life. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Baler is a surfer’s haven. Get close to Mother Nature and rough it out in Baler.
Sibuyan Island, Romblon
Accessible by boat from Romblon Island, Sibuyan has many beautiful waterfalls hidden in hills and mountains. The marine life is also rich that many divers come to see and explore its underwater world. Mountain lovers also head to this part of the Philippines to scale Mount Guiting-Guiting.
Seco Island, Antique
It’s a swirl of white sand in the middle of the sea. The Antique Tourism Office has been raving about this place the last time we were in their province.
Travelers can relax at the sandbar and also do a bit of snorkeling. It’s not easy to reach as it takes an early morning boat ride to get there. But if you can have the whole sandbar to yourself, rising up early in the morning is a small effort to do.
Siargao, Surigao del Norte
This island in Surigao del Norte is making waves, literally and figuratively, in the local and international scene. A movie set on this island is headlining this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. It has been on my mind for quite sometime and it resurfaced when two of my fellow Kerala Blog Express Season 4 co-winners raved about this place.
There are more to see, to explore and to enjoy in our archipelago. Plan your 2018 vacation ahead of time.
All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at http://firsttimetravels.com. Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on December 29, 2017.
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